Derby Arm Boat Lift Model – Now on display at Derby’s Local Studies Library

A working scale model of the Derby Arm Boat Lift is now on display in Derby’s Local Studies Library, in the Riverside chambers on Full Street.

The boat lift was originally designed by Derby engineer Alec Dodd and is an essential element of the riverside regeneration programme proposed by the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust.

During 2017 the concept was brought to life at a miniature scale as a group of twelve Rolls-Royce trainees painstakingly manufactured and assembled the model now on display. After deciding on a modellers scale known as “OO Gauge” the team began 3D printing the components of the model. The parts were too big to print in one go so trainees came up with a clever way of snapping together segments before assembling the working model. An electric motor is concealed in the hub and it is controlled by an Arduino processor (also programmed by a member of the team). The display case was made in the Silk Mill’s workshop by Derby Museums and finishes off the display perfectly.

The success of this project has all been down to the trainees themselves; not only did they have a diverse set of useful skills they were also very dedicated perfectionists. During the course of the project their enthusiasm for the overall Derby canal project has been clear to see and the Trust have been delighted to see how the trainees very quickly recognised the huge potential of the real project.

The model was designed to demonstrate the concept of the Derby Arm to investors as well as to be a tool to educate and inspire school children. The Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust hopes that the model will encourage girls and boys at primary and secondary level to take more interest in science, technology, engineering and maths and maybe even follow it as a career. This model is a really good example of how engineers can apply their knowledge and creativity to do something very positive which can really make a difference to people’s lives.

The model will be on display to the general public in the Local Studies Library throughout 2018. Follow the link to the Derby Libraries website for more information about how to get to there and for opening times.